-Minnesota State Arts Board - Minnesota North Star

Minnesota State Arts Board–A Creative Investment, Celebrating Ten Years of Legacy Art and Impact


Jones-Harrison Residence, Minneapolis. Teaching artist Teresa Cox

  Jones–Harrison Residence  
  Minneapolis – Hennepin County  
  2018 Partners in Arts Participation grant – Minnesota State Arts Board  
  Teaching artist Teresa Cox  

Our country's population of older adults is dramatically increasing, and nonprofit senior living communities, like Jones–Harrison Residence, prioritize identifying new and improved ways to prolong independence and enhance quality living, helping older adults age with dignity. Arts participation is an important component to healthy aging, contributing physical and mental health benefits, including fewer doctor visits, less medication use, better morale, and reduced rates of depression.

As part of a Jones–Harrison Residence project, this collage mural is made up of 15 individual squares. Fifteen senior artists each created an individual square, knowing it would be part of a larger composition. The participants were encouraged to follow their own unique interpretations, linked together by complementary color, form, and materials.

Led by artist Teresa Cox, the older adults took enormous pride in the project as it stretched them to understand new artistic skills. Positive social interaction developed between the teacher, staff, and fellow artists as they collaborated. Many were attempting collage for the first time, using magazine images that reflected their life experiences or favorite colors. The residents overcame initial frustrations in learning and worked diligently for 12 weeks in two-hour classes to complete the piece in time to display it at the 2018 holiday party. Family members and staff were amazed by the pride and uplifting change in self-esteem by residents, which was a direct result of creating this artwork.